- The Washington Times - Friday, May 4, 2007

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Asahi Shimbun

The Japan-U.S. summit

TOKYO — In his first visit to the United States since taking office, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with President George W. Bush [April 27]. Mr. Abe offered an apology to the president about the Japanese military’s treatment of wartime “comfort women,” and Mr. Bush accepted it.

The prime minister likely sighed in relief, but this exchange is very peculiar: Shouldn’t the prime minister be saying sorry to the former comfort women? Mr. Abe doesn’t exactly have a good track record for making statements sympathetic to victims. He hardly blinks when criticized at home, yet when things get heated in the United States, he immediately turns around and apologizes.

Lietuvos Rytas

The riots in Estonia

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Estonia was always few steps ahead of its Baltic neighbors. In Soviet times, when many Lithuanians used to obey the occupant regime, Estonians disrespected it. They were the first to establish a popular front and declare Estonian laws above Soviet ones. …

Estonia is often called a leader among Baltic States, and it proved this again last week when Moscow initiated a campaign of hysteria. They have a prime minister who is capable of making decisions during difficult times, and police capable of restoring order even in such extreme situations.

After the riots broke out in Tallinn, Lithuania failed to express support for the Estonian people and government. Some Lithuanian politicians even said that Tallinn probably made a mistake by moving the statue.

They probably forget that, in Christian countries, people are buried in cemeteries, not on street squares, where the statue of a Soviet soldier reminded everyone of the occupation and the brutal Soviet regime.


Scots pullout on hold

LONDON — The warnings have been heeded, Scottish voters have pulled back from the wholehearted endorsement of nationalism that the Scottish National Party had been counting on, and Labor has avoided the catastrophic defeat that some had been predicting. With swings of about 6 percent in Glasgow and the West, there were strong signs early this morning that the Labor vote was holding up, though here and there the SNP has made some startling gains.

… When, at 2:30 a.m., the shock news came in that the SNP had failed to win Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, its top target seat, where only a 1 percent swing was needed, it became clear that the prospect of a Nationalist-led government hung, at best, in the balance. The success of Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP’s deputy leader, in winning the … seat of Glasgow Govan came as a major compensation to the party, but a neck-and-neck result will mean that Scotland is facing the prospect of a divided parliament. What the SNP needed, but has not got, was the kind of tidal wave of support that translates, not only into a massive majority, but the moral advantage it would need if it were to win support for its promised referendum, which would set the country on the route towards independence.


The evolving auto industry

MADRAS, India — Some significant trends are transforming the passenger car industry worldwide, and India seems to be well placed to take advantage of them. Global car production is expected to double to 110 million units, with some 180 new production facilities to be commissioned soon.

In a sharp break with the past, most of the new factories will roll out basic cars, rather than the premium [sedans] that have crowded the roads of the developed countries. That development will turn the economics of the passenger car business on its head. …

Currently, around 1.4 million passenger cars are sold annually in India, and the smaller version accounts for a bulk of them. … The seismic shift towards smaller cars may turn out to be the most significant development since Henry Ford introduced the Model T a hundred years ago.

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